One of the moments that I feel the smartest is when I could “crack” the public transport system of a new place. Having no trains or subways in my beloved city of Cebu, figuring them out is both such a delightful and scary experience for me.
So being able to go to a destination via train (preferably alone) is always on top my itinerary when in a new place. And, finding yarn shops is the perfect compliment to it.
So in every new place, I always have this mission of how many yarn shops (and coffee shops in between) I could cover with my “navigation and public transport riding” skills.
The bigger the city, the more thrilling it would be for me. Probably, Osaka was like the most new and biggest city for me. Then there’s the language struggle so there was a lot of scary thoughts inside me. I know it’s superficial though. Anyhow…
WALK. When it’s too confusing for me, I walk. I mean with the weather and scenery of Osaka, walking can feel dreamy. (Husband’s working (remotely) so I go around alone, unnecessary fyi.)
And, walking gets me to see a lot of stuff, like I don’t really need to go to Kyoto to have a photo with a Torii.
I walk to the nearest yarn shop on my list in Osaka, Japan. I consider 5KM as something I can just walk to; so when I say it’s just near me, it’s around that distance.
It was the prettiest yarn shop I ever set foot in my entire crochet life. Of course, I’ve never been to a lot of shops.
They have floor-to-ceiling shelves full of wool yarns in hanks that look so fancy. I just could stand there whole day, and just soak in the beauty of it all.
They were offering workshops in their shop, which I wanted to join just so I have a reason to stay longer. But then they could not accommodate me because I could not speak Japanese. “Alangan man sad sila mag adjust nako?”
1st TRAIN RIDE in Osaka alone. After Teoriya, I finally had the courage to test waters of riding a train. I’m really poor at holding directions inside my head thus just knowing which direction of the train I should take is really such a real struggle.
I thought mall culture is just a Pinoy thing, but I guess we probably copied it from the Japanese. For some reason, their train stations or subways are interconnected with malls.
So the AVRIL yarn shop is located inside a mall, Hanshin Umeda. Going from the subway to the mall entrance was really such a pain for me to figure out. After our trip, I don’t think I ever figured out their subway. Japan’s cities’ subway are so huge, it’s like an entire different city down there.
I was going back and forth the subway and up into the “earth” to find the mall entrance, and I just could not figure it out. So I muster the courage to ask a Japanese local. And, yes, it’s true that Japanese would accompany you to point you to the right direction. So this nice lady walked me back to the subway, and showed me the entrance, which I passed by a lot of times already. Duh me!
One common thing of yarn or craft stores in Japan is that they always have a craft table where workshops are usually ongoing. I was so green with envy!
They have a different way of selling yarns. I mean it was my first time to encounter it. You buy it by weight / grams. So like if I wanted to buy a yarn sock, I would pick a yarn, and specify the weight grams I need. They were not prepacked so that explains the cones of yarns on display.
Yuzawaya is a big chain craft store in Japan. The store I can think / encounter of that is similar to is Spotlight. If you just want a quick trip to yarn / craft shop in Japan, go straight to a Yuzawaya branch. They seem to be everywhere in Japan. They have leather, textile, carpentry, and all sorts of crafting materials, and also a lot of workshops for different crafts.
The Yuzawaya I went to in Osaka was inside a mall again, Hankyu Sambangai. Plus, it was connected to the main metro station of Osaka so the subways has too many levels and there were too many people, it was too much for my brain capacity. After a lot of missed turns here and there ,I finally gave up and just ask a local to point me to it.
Unlike the previous yarn shops I mentioned above which main item they sell is yarns, Yuzawaya also has all sorts of crochet and knitting notions.
There were a lot yarns too. Of course, they would come expensive to those with 3rd-world budget, but there are a lot of yarns on sale / discounted prices which can really come cheap.
But the yarn that gave me the most “kilig” was the sock yarns! They came a plenty of stocks, and they were on sale. Off the bat, the cheapest sock yarns are priced at P700 so when I saw them on sale at around Php300, I just want to cry, but I got to hold the urges. Nooooo!!!
I did not buy yet because we’re going to Tokyo on following days, and I might find a better deal?!?
There were still a lot of yarn shops in my Osaka list, but my brain’s direction capability was maxxed out. It just have enough for me to find my way back to the hotel.